View Full Version : Dana White Interview


Curly Howard
04-14-2004, 11:01 AM
From
http://www.mmaweekly.com/


Ryan Bennett: Dana...

Dana White: Morning.

Ryan: How you doing?

Dana: Congratulations, on the one year anniversary.

Ryan: I appreciate it. You guys have celebrated, what, 3 years of owning the UFC?

Dana: A little over 3 years now.

Ryan: We just played a clip from Lee Murray. It was interesting to hear him talk about Baroni. How are things going with Lee Murray?

Dana: Good. Lee Murray is under contract with us.

Ryan: So is he going to be fighting on this next UFC [48]?

Dana: Yeah, he is on the next card.

Ryan: Who's his opponent, do we know?

Dana: Don't know yet.

Ryan: What a night you guys had with UFC 47.

Dana: It was a fun night. I really had a good time. I think the energy and the excitement in the fights were even better than UFC 40. UFC 40 was a tough one to top, but I think we did it. To be there live was awesome!

Ryan: It was sensational. I mean, to see all the celebs there soaking it in. It looks like right now, Dana, things are going real well for the company.

Dana: Yeah. We're pretty happy.

Ryan: One of the things the fans want to know is pay-per-view buys. You basically have your own perspective on why you guys don't release pay-per-view buy rates. What is the reason you guys don't come out public with those numbers?

Dana: We just don't want to. I don't think it's that important to let everybody know what the pay-per-view numbers are.

Ryan: I know there have been some preliminary numbers. So far, are you guys happy with what you've been seeing or are you disappointed?

Dana: We're very happy. It was a great event. We did a lot of good West Coast marketing and it paid off.

Ryan: I know you don't want to talk specifics, but, at this stage of the game, can you compare UFC 47 at all to UFC 40(as in PPV's)?

Dana: We never released the PPV numbers for UFC 40 either, we've never released our PPV numbers, but yeah, it's going to be UFC 40-ish.

Ryan: That's great. That's a good sign if it's in that same area.

Dana: Yeah, these past few shows we've had some really good PPV numbers. Like I've said, we've got this thing really dialed in right now. The sport is definitely on the uprise and things are very, very good.

Ryan: Dana, a lot of people we're surprised to hear the comments from BJ Penn. What can you say? What's the deal with BJ Penn?

Dana: Why, what's going on with BJ?

Ryan: Rumor has it that he wants to fight in K-1.

Dana: You're kidding me?! [laughs]

Ryan: Dude, I was like, I know you've been on vacation, but come on now.

Dana: Ummm... I really don't know. We'll see what happens.

Ryan: That's all you're giving me?

Dana: I have no comment on BJ.

Ryan: For those that don't know, BJ was in Japan and said he was going to fight there. I know you can't talk about it, but, in your opinion as the UFC president, do you foresee BJ Penn fighting in May for K-1?

Dana: I don't know. If it ends up with BJ fighting in K-1, I wish him well. I'm sure he'll do fine because he's a talented kid and a great fighter.

Ryan: Dana, you're a guy who's worked hard to bring a lot of guys in to the UFC and with your track record with your champions, how frustrating is it for you?

Dana: In the beginning, when we first started this thing, it was very frustrating to me, and I used to get all crazy about it. It doesn't bother me that bad anymore. It's all part of the business. It's always going to happen. People have to do what they think is right for them. If K-1 is the right move for BJ Penn, then that's what he needs to do. There's been a lot
of other guys that thought leaving the UFC was the right move. I didn't want them to do it. I tried to talk them out of it. They did what they thought was best for them, Bustamante, Jens Pulver, etc., etc. All I can do is what I can do. We treat our guys the best we can. One thing I can say and not bat
an eye is we treat our fighters very well. We treat them very professional, we treat them like real athletes. We try to get them as much exposure as we can. We try to build them into stars and we pay them as much as we can afford to pay them. But, at the end of the day, they have to do what they
think is right for their careers and I'm cool with that.

Ryan: You mention some of your past champions. With BJ Penn, if he does fight for another organization, would he be in the same boat? Would you have to basically strip him of the title?

Dana: Yeah, definitely. BJ got into the UFC because when Lorenzo and Frank and I began doing jiujitsu, BJ had come over and trained with us. We liked him. So we brought him into the UFC and we started to build him up. Obviously, he's very talented and did his thing. We gave him three shots at
a title. He went after the title twice at 155 and didn't win it. We gave him another shot at 170 and he finally wins the title. Now, if moving to Japan is the move that he wants to make, that's up to him. The one that I feel bad for is Matt Hughes. Matt Hughes is the type of fighter that fights anybody. Matt Hughes doesn't ever ***** about an opponent or anything. Whoever you put in front of him is who he'll fight. He gave BJ a shot and BJ is very upset that Jens Pulver wouldn't give him a rematch and now he is doing that to Matt Hughes if he wants to jump over to K-1. I feel bad for Matt Hughes. I think Matt should have a chance to win a fight or two and have a chance to regain his belt from the guy he lost it to.

Ryan: Let's take a few questions from the Live Fighter Chat. A few people want to know about the Mike Kyle situation because of the supposed bite. What is your comment on that?

Dana: I have not talked with the commission about that yet, but I need to. I was in the octagon after the fight and he [Wes Sims] definitely had a bite mark on him. Now, I don't know if it was really from the choke and Kyle's mouth being open and pressed against his chest or what the deal was, but the guy had bite marks on him.

Ryan: No doubt about it, we all saw it there.

Dana: Wes Sims stepped up on short notice and I really appreciate it. Actually, I haven't done the right thing. I should have jumped right on this thing and talked to the

commission.

Ryan: Will Wes Sims be back in the UFC?

Dana: Yeah. Wes Sims is a great guy. He's got a big heart and it's unfortunate. You know, he had the second loss, the knockout loss, to Frank Mir and then we brought him back on short notice. He didn't have enough time to prepare. I appreciate him stepping up.

Ryan: Talk about the title situation with the 155 pound division. A lot of people want to know if this next fight with Yves Edwards and Josh Thomson is going to be for the title?

Dana: Probably. I need to talk to Joe [Silva, UFC matchmaker].

Ryan: EZ wants to know, what's the situation with the UFC and the East Coast? Why isn't the UFC going back to the East Coast?

Dana: We'll be back on the East Coast, definitely. Vegas is just very hard to deny right now. Things are going great here. Our last three gates here have been record breaking gates for us. It's just a business decision for us to stay here, but we will be going back East real soon.

Ryan: Pitmaster, of all people, wants to know when Matt Lindland will be fighting again.

Dana: I think that Matt Lindland, in August, is fighting David Terrell. I just heard, too, that Matt Lindland is fighting on BJ Penn's show [Rumble on the Rock]. He's fighting Tony Fryklund. If he comes out of the Fryklund fight okay, then he'll fight Terrell.

Ryan: What about Joe Doerkson at 185? Do you see him coming in and being a contender at 185?

Dana: Yeah, there's some good 185-pounders out there, I think. We're bringing in Terrell. We'll see what happens with Lindland and Fryklund. We're slowly starting to work on that.

Ryan: Necksnapper wants to know about the question that you get asked every 2 minutes, TV deal, how's that going?

Dana: Things are going very good with the TV deal. We will be on TV by the fall.

Ryan: When will you guys make an announcement?

Dana: As soon as the deal is signed. I hate announcing stuff before the deal is signed. I think everybody's kind of tired of me chirping about how we're going to be on TV.

Ryan: Genki Sudo. Rumor has it that he's finished with his UFC deal. I know you can't look into the future, but do you feel that Genki Sudo will still be a part of the UFC?

Dana: Yeah. Definitely. I love Genki Sudo very much. We'll see him back.

Ryan: Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort, is that still planned for UFC 49?

Dana: Yes.

Ryan: Jeremy Horn, will he ever come back to the UFC in your opinion?

Dana: Yeah, I'm sure... I like Jeremy Horn very much, as a person and as a fighter... and as a trainer. I don't think he gets the props for being one of the best trainers out there. You'd be surprised at how many of the guys that fight that he works with. I like Jeremy Horn and we'll see.

Ryan: Did you see Jens Pulver's last fight in Japan?

Dana: I did not.

Ryan: If he continues to win, do you see him back in the UFC?

Dana: You never know.

Ryan: They want me to ask you about our boy Olaf?

Dana: [laughs] I've only seen Olaf fight once and it was against the kickboxer from Chuck's [Liddell] school. That was an interesting fight, that was one of the most exciting fights I've ever seen, but I don't really know how good he is.

Ryan: Not that John Polakowski isn't legit, but we need to see him against some of the better fighters at 155.

Dana: His standup left a lot to be desired, but he had a big heart.

Ryan: GoldenBoy wants me to ask you about Paul Buentello; as far as, jumping into the UFC heavyweight division.

Dana: I've heard a lot about him. I saw him fight at either Rumble on the Rock or SuperBrawl. You never know. Are we pursuing him right now? No.

Ryan: Cory wants me to ask you, Tito Ortiz, where does he go now? There was talk that he wanted to fight Lee Murray. Where does Tito go now?

Dana: Tito's not going to fight Lee Murray. Tito's too big for Lee Murray. Maybe if Lee gets a few more fights under his belt at 185 and wants to move
up and they can come up with a catch weight of like 199 or something and I think that is was Tito said, that he would cut weight to fight Lee or something. Right now, Lee Murray is a big part of the 185 picture. I don't see Tito in his near future. As far as right now, Lee Murray is in line to fight guys in the 185 division, guys like Baroni, Tanner. We'll see how the
dust settles after this next show. If both Baroni and Lee Murray win, those two will definitely fight and, if Tanner wins, he'll fight Lee Murray. Tito, we're looking for an opponent right now. Tito will probably fight again in August.

Ryan: So, Lee Murray gets the winner of Phil Baroni and Evan Tanner?

Dana: Yeah, if he wins his fight, too.

Ryan: We made you sweat there a little bit for a few minutes Mr. President. Seriously though Dana, you've always been a good friend to this show and over the past year, I can't tell you how much we appreciate you jumping on. It's never an easy thing to do, but I always appreciate you doing it.

Dana: My pleasure. Thank you and congratulations on your one year.

DOGGx0
04-14-2004, 11:44 AM
good read. i got SOME questions answered but it looks like on an overall, regarding any upcoming fights.. everything is just preliminary right now and its a little too far out to get definate answers. good **** tho. thanks.